Chapter 20 : Finally Told
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“Well, well, look at this.” Harry said with a smile as they got off the train. “A large welcoming committee.” He pointed to Tonks, Mad-Eye Moody, Remus, Kingsley, Percy, Bill, Charlie, Fred, George, Molly, Arthur, and Jen’s sister Anna.
“It is at that.” Kei said with a laugh. “Funny thing is we have no way of knowing if they are here for us or Dumbledore.”
Harry nodded. “Very true.” He said.
“They better be here for us.” Rena said. “I’ll be personally offended if they don’t compliment my clothes at least once as well.”
“I think they’re here for us.” Ginny said as they made the group way over. “Here they come.”
The students began getting their trunks from the train and loading up the trolleys. As they finished they noticed the two teachers who chose to visit get off the train. What Harry never expected was what happened next.
“You!” Remus yelled angrily with his finger pointed to the Defense Against the Dark Arts professor. Harry looked shocked.
“Remus?” She asked, stunned. “What the bloody hell are you doing here?!”
“I’m here for Harry.” Remus answered with a cold tone. “What the hell do you think you’re doing here?”
“Harry invited me.” She answered.
“Harry!” Remus exclaimed. “What are you doing?”
“She knew my Mum Remus.” Harry answered.
“Only because she was the worst influence.” Remus said as he glared at her. “I haven’t forgotten what you did.”
“Let old stories lie Remus.” She said.
“Harry, I’ll take everyone’s things.” Remus said. “I’ll have Tinky take care of it all. Don’t worry.”
“Okay Remus.” Harry said softly. “I’ll talk to you when I get back.”
“Okay Harry.” Remus said before lashing all the trunks together and using a portkey.
“That didn’t go well.” Harry said to Tonks.
“No, I don’t believe it did.” Tonks said. “Maybe I should have suggested you talk to Remus.”
“Maybe.” Harry said. “Too late now though.”
“Ah, such a large crowd you form Harry.” Dumbledore said with a bright smile. “I am most happy that the Minister made it mandatory for the students to return home for the holiday this year. It seems it will be a grand affair.”
“I agree.” Harry said before turning back to Tonks. “How are they?”
“They are… coping with the situation.” Tonks said. “Though the boy does look horrified if we walk into a room.”
Harry laughed. “I think Hagrid’s to blame for that. But I’ll never tell you why.” He said as he smiled at the memory.
“Hello Harry.” Percy said with a nod and smile.
“Hello Percy.” Harry said. “How’s the situation with the class?”
“I knew you weren’t doing what the family said.” Percy said. “So did the Minister. We both read your reports on Ron, and not all of that was good. We just had to make it known that we’d look into it. This class can’t have any bad press. It’s too dangerous for the program.”
“I understand.” Harry said with a nod. “No offense taken.”
“Wait, what was said about me?” Ron asked.
“That you had problems making more complex potions and needed more work on your dodging.” Percy answered honestly. “How is that coming along by the way?”
“I’m getting better.” Ron said softly.
“But I’m still kicking his butt.” Ginny said with a laugh.
“Good work.” Tonks said with a smile.
“Well dears, lets all get to Harry’s house.” Mrs. Weasley said. “I don’t know how safe the platform is these days.”
“Mrs. Weasley there are seven aurors, the Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, and Professor Dumbledore standing right here. And that’s not to mention the entire Weasley family. We couldn’t get any safer.” Harry said with a smile.
Mrs. Weasley laughed. “Just the same dear.” She said.
“Very well.” Harry said. “Jen, could you help Professor Pithman?”
“Eileen.” The professor said.
“Okay then.” Harry said. “Jen?”
“Of course.” Jen said. “If you’ll just grab my arm.”
“Ginny, do you know how to get there?” Harry asked.
“Yes Harry.” Ginny said.
“Go first.” Harry said. “If you don’t make it come right back and I’ll take you.”
“Okay Harry.” Ginny said and apparated silently.
“You taught them that I see.” Tonks said with a smile.
“Yup.” Harry answered. “She needs the practice with it though.”
“I must implore you to not let her do that outside your class again Harry.” Percy said. “She’s not seventeen yet.”
Harry winced. “Damn, I forgot about that.” He said. “I’ve been apparating so long I forget you have to be of age.”
“I’ll handle it.” Percy said. “But I don’t know where you live Harry.”
“Just grab hold then Percy.” Harry said. “Ginny’s there by now. On to the Manor.”
With that everyone apparated there. The rest of the next few hours seemed like chaos. Harry couldn’t find Remus, the house elves looked like they were moving ten times too fast for themselves, Percy, Eileen, and Mad Eye were asking many questions about the house, and Harry was listening to Tonks tell him he still needed to train. When he couldn’t take all of this any longer he motioned for Dumbledore to follow him and made his way to the library where he motioned to a chair and sat down close by. When Dumbledore sat Harry nodded.
“How are you today Harry?” Dumbledore asked.
“A bit confused but I’ll survive.” Harry said. “I was wondering if I could ask you something.”
“Of course Harry.” Dumbledore said. “I only hope that I have the answer you seek.”
“How does one hire more house elves?” Harry asked. “This house just gets more and more people and I don’t know if Tinky and Clank can keep up with it all.”
“I am actually surprised you’d not thought to get Dobby to work for you.” Dumbledore said. “He seems to be an elf you are most comfortable with.”
“Dobby said he likes working at Hogwarts.” Harry said. “I wouldn’t think of trying to take him from a place he was happy.”
“Ah, I see.” Dumbledore said. “To inquire about house elves you must either find out about free elves, of which there are very few, or you must speak with the department of magical creatures and see if there are any available. From there you can speak to them and choose the house elves you find pleasing.”
“Can I free them if I do things that way?” Harry asked.
“Of course Harry, but I would explain to the elves your intention.” Dumbledore said. “They are a rather excitable people.”
“I know.” Harry said.
“I would also suggest talking to Dobby and Winky as well.” Dumbledore said. “Winky has not been pleased with her current position and may be happier working for a house instead of for the school. Dobby might as well, and I fear he would be insulted if not at least considered. As you know, he is quite fond of you.”
“Would that bother you?” Harry asked.
“Nothing would please me more than if they were both happy about their positions. Whether they choose to stay at Hogwarts or work here, I am certain I will be happy for them.” Dumbledore said.
“Thank you sir.” Harry said. “Would you mind if I went to check on them now?”
“Of course not Harry.” Dumbledore said. “But how would you get in?”
Harry just smiled. “I have my ways.” He said. “Could you run defense and tell everyone I’ll talk to them all soon? I might have to go to the department of magical creatures regardless. Remus said this house used to have ten house elves. I think it might need ten elves again.”
“Very well Harry.” Dumbledore said. “I shall tell them you required a rest and that you will see to them all shortly.”
“Thank you sir.” Harry said and disappeared.
“Most interesting.” Dumbledore said. “I must ask him about that.”
Harry found the kitchens looked quite dismal. Harry shook his head as he saw the house elves looking as if the holiday was the worst thing imaginable. Harry saw Dobby and Winky and smiled.
“Hello you two.” Harry said cheerfully.
“Harry Potter!” Dobby exclaimed before he leapt up and hugged Harry. “I’m so happy to see you! What is you needing?”
“I need to speak with you and Winky if you both have a moment?” Harry asked.
“Please Harry Potter, be sitting down.” Dobby said. “We is talking to you right away.”
“I guess I is talking to you.” Winky said in a depressed tone. “How is I helping you?”
“Well, I know you both must love it here.” Harry said, causing Winky to scoff. “But I seem to be in need of quite a few house elves these days. I have a manor that just keeps getting filled with more people all the time. I was wondering if you’d both like to come and work for me?”
“Harry Potter wants Dobby to work for him?” Dobby asked in awe. Harry nodded. “I is accepting sir! Right away!”
“Thank you Dobby.” Harry said. “The Potter Manor has a head house elf named Tinky. If you speak to him he’ll inform you of your pay and vacation.”
“I is not wanting vacation Harry sir.” Dobby said. “I is happy to work.”
Harry smiled. “Very well.” He said. “Winky, would you like to come?”
“How many house elfs you is needing?” Winky asked.
“Many house elves.” Harry said. “The manor used to have ten. All but two went on to find new masters.”
“Despicable!” Winky said angrily. “Is bad house elfs! I is going to work right away. Show you how good house elfs works.”
Harry smiled. “I think Tinky and Clank will be happy to work with you.” He said. “If you’ll both just go over when you are ready. I must hire some more. There are so many people there right now.”
“I is going now.” Winky said with a determined look. “I see you at you home Master Potter.” And with a pop! she disappeared.
“She takes her job very seriously.” Harry said with a stunned look.
“House elfs that is leaving a home is very bad elfs.” Dobby said. “Even free elfs is knowing you place is you home. To leave a home, even home with no master, means they is very bad elfs. I is going too, Master Potter, and speaking to Tinky sir. Farewell Master Potter sir.”
“This will take some getting used to.” Harry said as another house elf came up to him.
“You is Master Potter?” The house elf asked
“Yes I am.” Harry said.
“Is elf at you house named Clank?” The house elf asked again.
“Yes, a very good house elf too.” Harry said.
“I is going back to work immediately Master Potter, if you is having me back.” The house elf said. “My name is being Bin. Clank is being my family.”
“I see.” Harry said. “Will Winky be too hard on you?” He asked as he remembered the elf’s attitude before.
“She is being no worse than I is deserving sir.” Bin said. “She is being right. I is being bad elf. I is just missing working.”
“You were free, am I right?” Harry asked.
“I is still free.” Bin replied.
“Then go ahead back.” Harry said with a smile. “I’ll see you when I find some more house elves to assist you all.”
Bin beamed. “You is still taking me back?” She asked. Harry nodded. “Thank you Master Potter! I is going to Tinky right now! Bye Master Potter!”
Harry shook his head. “Maybe I should go now.” He said to himself and apparated immediately.
“Harry, why have the number of elves been increasing all day?” Hermione asked curiously with a hint of anger in her voice.
“Tinky and Clank were being run ragged taking care of everyone.” Harry said. “They needed help. According to Remus there used to be ten house elves here. I talked to Tinky and he said with ten house elves all the work is done easily now.”
“Where did you get the house elves?” Hermione asked with an edge in her voice.
“Three came from Hogwarts.” Harry said. “Bin used to work here before and now she does again. Dobby and Winky are the other two of course.”
“And what of the other five?” Hermione asked.
“Their master’s died recently and the elves were to be freed from their homes.” Harry said. “After a long talk with them I now have ten free house elves working here.”
“Free?” Hermione asked curiously.
“Tinky and Clank are free.” Harry said. “They can leave whenever they want to, but they love the house. The rest are free and happily working and being paid just as Tinky and Clank are.”
“Oh.” Hermione said. “I was worried you would just-“
“Forget that freedom is important?” Harry asked curiously.
“I guess it was a stupid thought huh?” Hermione asked.
“Yes it was.” Harry said with a smile. “But it is you Hermione. I just wanted to make sure Tinky and Clank weren’t working themselves too hard. Don’t worry.”
“Okay.” Hermione said.
“Come on Hermione.” Harry said. “Its Christmas holiday. We’ve got to get your parents in a few hours and then we have a whole week of Rena forcing us to shop. And,” Then he got closer and whispered the rest. “I have a date with Ginny again.”
“Really?” Hermione asked curiously.
“Yes. Don’t tell them.” Harry said with a nod to Jen and Rena. “They have this thing about killing my confidence.”
“What are you doing?” Hermione asked curiously.
Harry looked around to find Ginny. When he saw her well away he smiled at Hermione. “Phantom of the Opera.” He said. “You and Ron want to come?”
“Would that really be normal? Seems more like a chaperone.” Hermione said.
“No, more of a double date.” Harry said. “Ron doesn’t really act that… I don’t know… protective?... over Ginny with me. I just figured you’d like to go. I’m a bit nervous. I’ve never been to an opera before.”
Hermione nodded. “I’ll talk to Ron if you talk to Ginny.” She said.
“I don’t want to tell her where we’re going.” Harry said.
“Don’t, but ask her about the double date thing.” Hermione said.
“Oh, Gotcha.” Harry said. “Should we do it now?”
“When’s the opera?” Hermione asked.
“Two days.” Harry answered.
“Yes, we should have done it last week.” Hermione said. “How did you know to get four tickets though?”
“I just bought a box.” Harry said. “I sort of have tickets to every opera or play for a year. I didn’t realize the price was for a year. I just thought it was expensive. The box has four seats.”
Hermione laughed. “That’s definitely you Harry.” She said. “Come on.”
Harry nodded and walked into the room calmly. Ginny smiled as he came up to her and hugged him. As she did he whispered in her ear. “Got any plans for Monday night?”
“No.” Ginny replied with a smile.
“Do you mind a double date with Ron and Hermione?” Harry asked.
“I don’t mind.” Ginny said. “What are we doing?”
“It’s a surprise.” Harry said as he pulled away and smiled at her. “You’ll find out on Monday. You might need to ask your Mum now though.”
Ginny’s eyes got wide. “Oh god. You’re right!” She said before rushing to Mrs. Weasley and speaking in hushed tones as Fred and George came up.
“Still being the hooligan around our little sister are you?” Fred said with an evil glare.
“We know how to deal with that.” George said.
“Bill, Charlie, get over here a minute.” Fred called. Harry grew nervous as Bill and Charlie came over.
“What’s going on you two?” Charlie asked.
“Harry here is running about taking our little sister around the muggle world showing her a good time.” Fred said with a mischievous grin.
“We have no idea what they do either, but Ginny always comes back all dreamy eyed and drooling.” George said.
“So, dating our sister are you?” Charlie said with the same evil glint in his eyes he saw in Fred’s eyes before.
“Yes Charlie, I am.” Harry said in a relaxed tone. “Is that a problem?”
“Well I’d say so.” Bill replied. “If you hurt her I’ll gladly kill you.”
“I’ll just feed you to Norbert.” Charlie said with a grin. “Might be fun to see.”
“What’s all this about?” Percy asked.
“He’s dating Ginny.” Charlie said.
“Yes?” Percy asked.
“You don’t have a problem with this Percy?” Bill asked him.
“Harry can keep her safe and Ginny looks happy.” Percy said. “I can’t complain about that.”
“But how safe is she really?” Bill asked.
Percy held a grin. “I’ve read the reports on everything Harry’s done.” He said. “If he wanted to he could curse the lot of you into oblivion and then claim his life was in danger.”
“He’d have to get his wand first.” Bill said.
Ron came up seeing all this. “Threatening Harry for Ginny are you?” He asked with a smile.
“Percy thinks we can’t take Harry.” Charlie said.
“He’s right to say that.” Ron said.
“I still say he’d have to get his wand first.” Bill said.
“He has his wand.” Ron said. “Two of them actually. He could have them out and curse you both before you got your wands out. I’ve seen him do it.”
“I’ll believe it when I see it Ron.” Charlie said and reached for his wand.
“I wouldn’t if I were you.” Harry said. “If you aim that wand at me right here Kei, Jen, and Rena will curse you to oblivion before I can stop them.”
“Harry, duel them.” Ron said with a grin. “I’d love to see it.”
“Its not a fair fight Ron.” Harry said with a smile.
“He admits it.” Bill said with a grin.
“Yes.” Harry said. “It would take all six of you to make it reasonable for me to draw one wand. If I used both you wouldn’t make it to grabbing your wands.”
“You’re on.” Charlie said. “All of us against you. I want to see what you’ve got.”
“What are you doing?” Ginny asked as she came over.
“I think they just challenged me to a duel.” Harry said with a laugh as everyone in the room looked nervously at Harry.
“That’s really not necessary dears.” Mrs. Weasley said. “Lets all sit down and enjoy the holiday.”
“I want to know if he’s really as good as Ron and Percy keep saying.” Bill said.
“I believe you will find he is better, Bill.” Dumbledore said. “Neither of them have actually seen him work. Percy saw only his reports and Ron has seen only the briefest of his missions.”
“Still, I want to see for myself.” Bill said. “I won’t allow you to see Ginny until I know.”
“You don’t control me Bill!” Ginny exclaimed angrily. “Mum and Dad say its fine! I’ll see who I want!”
“Not till I know you won’t.”
Harry looked at Tonks who looked apologetic, then at Kei who looked curious, and finally at Rena who smiled and nodded quickly. Harry nodded. “Fine, but we do this outside. I want to give you all enough room to avoid a spell. Ron, I won’t be too hard on you.”
“Thanks mate.” Ron said.
“Shall we?” Harry asked calmly and grabbed the recently transfigured trenchcoat and headed to the back yard.
“I have a feeling this will be most interesting.” Dumbledore said. “Perhaps, Nymphadora, you should call Remus to watch. Eileen, I assume you will want to see your student in action as well.”
“Of course.” Eileen said. “I wonder how much like Lily he is when he fights.”
“Oh dear.” Mrs. Weasley said.
“I can’t wait to see this.” Ginny said and went outside as well.
Ten minutes later everyone in the entire house, including Petunia and Dudley, were surrounding the six Weasley boys and Harry. Harry was still looking calm as if this were an everyday occurrence. Only six people there knew exactly how normal this was to Harry. Harry smiled at Ginny and winked as she beamed her smile back at him.
“Whenever you lot are ready.” Harry said. They reached for their wands and in that same second Ron, Fred, and George were all stunned. “Faster, faster!” Harry continued, looking relaxed and without holding wands in his hands.
“Get him!” Bill yelled and the oldest Weasley boys attacked.
Harry laughed as he dodged spell after spell. Tonks started laughing as she realized he was using this as a training exercise. After ten minutes of dodging he suddenly had one wand in his hand.
“Expelliarmus!” Harry yelled and Percy lost his wand. “Stupefy!” Percy fell and Harry put the wand away and continued his dodging. “Are you having fun yet?”
“Fun!” Bill cried angrily. “We’re going to get you.”
“Want to find out how quick this could really be over?” Harry asked.
“Do your worst!” Charlie said.
Harry nodded and threw an obsolete obstacle on the ground and a wall appeared between he and the oldest Weasleys. Then he had both wands in his hands and stepped out and stunned them both in the same instant. “I told you.” Harry said as he put his wands away. “Tonks, will you wake up Bill and Charlie? I don’t feel like having them curse me for waking them up.”
Tonks laughed. “Maybe you don’t need so much training anymore.” She said.
“I like it really.” Harry said. “Its fun.”
When they were all woken from the stunning spell Fred, George, and Ron were laughing and Percy seemed to have a smile. “You gits actually tried to duel Harry!” Fred said with a laugh.
“Told you they’d fall for it.” Ron said.
“That you did ickle-Ronniekins.” George said. “Good work that.”
“You set them up.” Harry said with a laugh.
“Just saved you some trouble if they saw you about to leave with Ginny.” Ron said. “They would have tried that if you were going on a date.”
“You four knew he’d get all of us?” Charlie asked.
“I told you what would happen Charlie.” Percy said in his know-it-all voice. “You two didn’t listen.”
Bill just walked up to Harry and put his hand out. Harry shook it firmly. “You make sure you bring her back on time, every time, and without a hair on her head hurt. If you don’t then I’ll make sure to take you down the next time.”
Charlie nodded. “Harry, I wasn’t kidding about Norbert.” He said. “Be good to her and take care of her.” He said.
“You’ll find that she’s a very capable witch.” Harry said with a smile. “But I’ll make sure she always back safe and sound.”
“Good.” Bill said. “Now I’ve got to go deal with this bruised ego.”
Ginny laughed. “You were great Harry!” She said as she hugged him.
“I do try.” Harry said.
“Dear, will you have her back by ten?” Mrs. Weasley asked.
“Um… I can try, but I don’t know how…” Harry started and then walked up and whispered in Mrs. Weasley’s ear. “You know?”
Mrs. Weasley nodded. “Very well.” She said. Then she turned to Ron. “Make sure all four of you are home as soon as you can.”
“Yes Mum.” Ron said.
“Well, it appears Ginny will still be surprised.” Hermione said with a smile.
“Do you know Ron?” Ginny asked hopefully.
“No, Hermione said I’d ruin the surprise for you.” Ron said.
“Aw man.” Ginny said as her head fell.
“That was a lot more fun than the movie.” Ginny said. “No one even tried to tell us we couldn’t talk.”
Harry smiled. “Yeah, I think it’s because of the location though.” He said.
“Harry, I can’t believe you bought a box like that.” Hermione said. “It’s the best in the house.”
“I know, that’s why I got it.” Harry said. “The next time I’ll use it is for Macbeth though.”
“Really?” Hermione asked. “Do you think-“
“If Ginny doesn’t object you two can come again.” Harry said with a smile.
“Well I guess we will all be going to Macbeth then.” Ginny said. “What is it?”
“Shakespeare.” Hermione said. “Brilliant playwright. He wrote some of the most amazing plays.”
“No singing?” Ron asked.
“No singing.” Harry said.
“Good.” Ron said. “I’m not that big a fan of the singing plays.”
Harry nodded. “I thought you’d say that.” He said.
“Did you like it Harry?” Ginny asked curiously.
“It was fun.” Harry said. “I’ve done more in the past few months than I have in my entire life.”
“I’m glad to be doing this stuff with you.” Ginny said. “It’s so much fun.”
“I agree.” Ron said. “The restaurant was fun too.”
Harry laughed. “I had to choose that one.” He said. “You are always so hungry.”
Hermione laughed. “You made a good choice on that one.” She said.
Ron laughed too. “Very true.” He said. “But we need to get home or Mum will have my hide for sure.”
“You’re right.” Harry said.
“No he’s not.” Ginny said. “It’s not even ten!”
“It’s not?” Ron and Harry asked together.
“Maybe the play wasn’t as fun as Harry thought.” Hermione said.
“No, I just thought it was a four hour play.” Harry said.
“No, it’s only three.” Hermione said.
“Wicked!” Harry said. “Gin, what would you like to do?”
“I don’t know.” Ginny said.
Hermione whispered in Harry’s ear and he nodded. “Brilliant!” He said.
“Can you actually do it?” Hermione asked.
“I should be able to.” Harry said.
“You two have fun then.” Hermione said. “Be back by ten though. We’ll wait till then to go back too.”
“Thanks Hermione.” Harry said and took Ginny’s hand. “Hermione had a brilliant idea I wouldn’t have thought of normally. Are you ready?”
“Yeah.” Ginny said with a bright smile.
Harry pulled her to him and hugged her tightly. “Close your eyes.” He said. As soon as she did he apparated and when they appeared where he wanted them to be he smiled. “Open them.”
“Oh my god! Where are we?” Ginny asked.
“The Eiffel Tower.” Harry said. “Famous landmark in France.”
“Wow.” Ginny said as she looked out. “Its beautiful!”
Harry smiled as he looked at her. “I’m glad you like it.” He said.
“I love it.” Ginny said. “Have you ever been here before?”
Harry looked out at the city. “I’ve never been anywhere Gin.” He said. “Until I started Hogwarts I never knew of anything outside of Little Whinging. I just knew that the view was supposed to be beautiful from here. I’d never have thought to just come here.”
Ginny smiled. “So, do you think its beautiful or is it just me?” She asked.
Harry looked out. “The view is missing something.” He said.
“What?” Ginny asked confused.
Harry turned and moved her in front of him and smiled. “Perfect.” He said.
“Stop!” Ginny exclaimed as she started to blush.
“You know Gin,” Harry started. “I’ve been thinking about whether to tell you this or not.” He continued and took her hand in his. “After a lot of thinking I thought you deserved to know.”
“What is it Harry?” Ginny asked.
Harry pulled her toward him gently and kissed her deeply. When he pulled away he just smiled again. “I love you Ginny.” He said as he hugged her. When he pulled away she noticed she was in the front hall of Potter Manor. “Goodnight Gin.” He added as he went up the stairs, walking away as calmly as she did at the end of last year.
Ginny was still reeling from the kiss but started to laugh uncontrollably. “I guess I asked for that.” She said to herself.
A/N: I hope you like it. Well, now that I'm finished with this one I can go back to sleep, ha ha. Thanks for reading, please review. Oh yeah, thanks darksideofthemoon. Muse helped quite a bit. Well, off to sleep I go. Goodnight all.
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